Asthma in the fall and winter – 10 tips to avoid exacerbations

Winter asthma – cold induced asthma

Even though it is still only May our focus must shift to getting prepared for the colder winter months and seasonal changes. While the colder months do not affect everyone, they are common triggers for many people with asthma so it’s important to:

  1. Practise ‘germ etiquette’ by washing hands with soap and drying them well. For instance, get children into the good habit of washing their hands when they get home from school or pre-school.
  2. Get the ‘flu jab.’ Ensure you and your family and friends are protected this winter by getting the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are free for those with respiratory conditions and are highly recommended. It is best to get vaccinated before winter, so you are protected before influenza enters the community.
  3. Avoid sick people where possible, especially if colds are a strong trigger for you or your child. It may be best to skip that child play date if you know the others are unwell.
  4. Ensure your home is healthy, dry, and mould free. A healthy indoor environment can help to reduce triggers that can spark asthma and allergies or make you unwell. Some tips are: a) open windows and air out your home on sunny days b) avoid drying clothing inside c) ensure you have working ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen
  5. Get enough sleep. Getting plenty of quality sleep is very important to help your body fight off germs.
  6. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables can do wonders for your overall health and help you fight off colds. Don’t forget 5+ a day! A calming stroll around the block can help to get the blood pumping – even just 5-10 minutes will help.
  7. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow rather than your hands. This can minimize the spread of germs that could make others sick.
  8. Wrap up warm. If you know cold air or low temperatures are an issue for you make sure you have warm clothing and a scarf if needed. Stay indoors where possible if temperature changes trigger your asthma or allergies.
  9. Follow your Asthma Management Plan. Having good respiratory health can help to reduce complications from colds and flu. By following your plan and keeping it updated you are putting yourself in the best position to face potential colds or flu.
  10. Keep medication on hand and continue a good respiratory medication routine. If you have any concerns regarding your current medication routine, visit your GP or other respiratory health specialists.

Comments 5

  • Aaliyah

    We know that bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are chronic diseases. This means that, as soon as suitable (or rather, not suitable for the bronchi) conditions arise, the disease becomes aggravated.

    Winter and off-season are especially unfavorable for patients with bronchi. At this time, the air is humid, it is cold outside, and a gusty wind often blows with cold rain or sleet. Such conditions weaken the protection of our body and contribute to the transmission of viruses and bacteria. As usual, where it is thin, it breaks there – an infectious process develops in the bronchi.

    In addition, bronchi do not benefit from sudden changes in temperature and humidity of inhaled air. We go out of a warm room or transport, and here in the face – a cold wind. We do not have time to get used to these conditions, as we dive into the stuffy subway and so on.

    At home and in the office, “heating or coil” is operated by heating or other heaters. Indoor air becomes too dry, saturated with dust, on which allergens and microbes fly. From overdried air it becomes more difficult to cough up – how can you not begin to choke. Moreover, asthmatics are characterized by increased sensitivity of the respiratory tract: the bronchi respond with spasm to various stimuli – infections, allergens, cold air, sharp odors.

  • kira

    Bronchial asthma in winter has a tendency to worsen, it can cause a lot of trouble, from characteristic coughing and pressure in the chest to asthma and the development of serious complications. We can not change the climate in which we live. Although some steps in this direction are observed – it’s not for nothing that scientists say something about global warming. Yes, a radical approach is possible, or rather, moving to warm countries, where there are no cold dawns. But this alignment is not for everyone.

    Much depends on us. It is necessary to train the immune system, harden, although it is difficult. Do not sit on one-sided diets, and then the immunity completely weakened. Try to eat right – high-grade, vitamin-rich food. By the way, vitamin C (it is also called an anti-infective factor) is contained not only in exotic pineapples and black currants not growing in winter, but also in low-cost potatoes and cabbage.

  • Matthew

    Do not hesitate to wear a mask so as not to catch the virus and not infect others if you are ill. And still quite simple, but on no less relevant advice: if it is uncomfortable outside, dress warmer and (our grandmothers told the truth) try not to soak your feet.

    Of course, in order not to ache in the cold season, it is necessary to properly treat their chronic sores. With regard to asthma, this means a constant intake of therapeutic (hormonal) inhalers. These funds do not immediately remove asthma attacks, but are used to prevent them. Hormonal inhalers suppress the inflammatory process in the bronchi, and asthma attacks are rare, not so severe and go faster.

  • miri

    Even the most careful person in the cold season may experience frequent attacks or even begin exacerbation of asthma or bronchitis. Therefore, ambulance inhalers are indispensable: they quickly expand the bronchi and are used to relieve the resulting attacks of suffocation or for their “quick” prevention.

    Among such means of “ambulance” is berodual consisting of two medicinal substances. The first substance is fenoterol, it acts on the beta-adrenergic receptors of the bronchi, leading to the relaxation of their muscles. The action of fenoterol develops quickly, but lasts no more than 4 hours (with the exacerbation of the disease – less).

    The second component of berodual, ipratropium, also relaxes the bronchi, but through M-cholinergic receptors. Its effect is not as fast and powerful as that of fenoterol – it starts later, 20-30 minutes after inhalation, but it lasts much longer – up to 8 hours. In addition, ipratropium reduces swelling of the bronchial mucosa, inhibits the formation of sputum and improves its separation.

    By the way, these two substances have been successfully used for a long time separately: fenoterol is a berotec inhaler, and ipratropium is atrovent. Why was it to connect them? After all, there is a perception that two drugs in one bottle is not always good.

    And they were connected in order to reduce the dose of fenoterol (when used in higher doses, heartbeat, hand trembling, dizziness can develop) and to make the bronchodilator effect of ipratropia stronger and faster (while it starts to work, time is needed, and its if there is no attack). In addition, it is inconvenient to carry around and use two cans at once.

    The combination of two drugs in berodual itself fully justified. In this combination, fenoterol and ipratropium supplemented and strengthened their positive effects, and the safety of the drug increased due to the reduced single dose of fenoterol.

    Berodual is produced in two types: in a metered-dose aerosol inhaler (canister) and in a solution for nebulizer therapy. Spray has been upgraded: now it does not contain freon, does not harm the atmosphere, and its efficiency and safety have increased further.

  • Aaliyah

    Berodual will serve as a faithful companion and in a number of difficult situations associated with the cold. Here are some simple tips. Do not be lazy to make unscheduled inhalation before leaving the warm room on the street. By the same extraordinary inhalation can be resorted and, conversely, when entering from a cold in a warm room. Berodual will help prevent an attack that is triggered by physical exertion (and in the cold the likelihood of such attacks increases).

    Especially indicated is treatment with berodual if asthma or bronchitis has worsened against the background of a cold (respiratory viral infection). Then they should be used every day, and instead of a can, it makes sense to inhalate the berodual solution through a nebulizer.

    Of course, in each case, the dose and mode of use of berodual and other drugs should be coordinated with the doctor. With the right planned treatment and timely assistance to our lungs, it will be easier for us to survive the cold season, and then spring is just around the corner.